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Developer backs down on legal challenges to Buckinghamshire and Somerset plans

by on April 23, 2015

Developer Gladman Developments Ltd has withdrawn its legal challenge in the Court of Appeal over the “making” of Winslow’s Neighbourhood Plan by Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

The Buckinghamshire planning authority had formally approved the plan, following a local referendum in September 2014.

Gladman initially challenged that move in the High Court on a number of grounds, including the reasoning of the independent examiner who scrutinised the plan and the lawfulness of the council’s decision to formally make the plan.

However, a judge dismissed the developer’s case in December 2014. A subsequent appeal against that decision was made to the Court of Appeal in March this year.

However, AVDC has now been informed that the developer has withdrawn from the Court of Appeal proceedings and is also no longer challenging Community Secretary Eric Pickles’ decision to refuse planning permission for a 211-dwelling residential scheme on land off Verney Road in Winslow.

AVDC had refused this scheme and the developer appealed. The inspector who held the recovered appeal had recommended approval but the Secretary of State disagreed, citing the neighbourhood plan.

Susan Kitchen, who heads the council’s development management team, said: “This is fantastic news for the residents of Winslow. A huge amount of work went into drawing up the plan by the Winslow community and the withdrawal of this challenge removes any doubt over the status of the plan when making decisions on planning applications in the area it covers.

She added: “Although AVDC was confident that the Court of Appeal would dismiss this latest challenge to the plan, Gladman’s decision to drop the action is very welcome. We will be pursuing the recovery of our legal costs, where permitted.”

Meanwhile, in a separate move Mendip District Council has confirmed that Gladman has dropped its High Court challenge to the council’s local plan over the adequacy of the strategy’s housing provision.

View the Aylesbury Vale District Council press release

View the decision letter and inspectors report

Roger Milne

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